Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shakespeare In The Flesh?

A few years ago a painting was found in an Ontario, Canada small town attic. An investigation and study began to see if it was possible it was painted during Shakespeare's lifetime...because it looked like him.

U of T


Shakespeare's Face

Another painting has surfaced thought to be of Shakespeare painted during his U.K.

Toronto Star


What do you think? Are these really our Shakespeare?


mister anchovy said...

if we want them to be, yes. The good thing about art is it makes it easy to believe in the impossible.

Candy Minx said...


Crushed said...

I've seen the bottom one mentuioned elsewhere and I believe it is him. The top one, I'm not so sure about.

SME said...

It's always possible, but since 1770 there've been about 450 bogus portraits of W.S. Some forgers practically made careers of out of fake Shakespeare portraits, altering other paintings to make them resemble his bust (some just moved the hairline back a little). Virtually any Elizabethan painting of a balding man could be W.S.

Gardenia said...

He was one good looking dude if they are - its amazing the sensitivity that is conveyed through the portraits - I think that face could easily be a man who was such a great thinker and creator....proof - ah, I have none, no premise other than that

tweetey30 said...

I have never seen a clear photo of him so I am not 100% sure. But its possible. Esp if he had family and it got left in an attic of the house..You just never know with this stuff this old. Historic I meant really not old.

Candy Minx said...

A friend on a Shakespeare online group just made a great point. Paintings of poets used to emphasize their artsy look. The clothes the second portrait guy are wearing aren't like poets but perhaps more like merchants. Portraits ar eoften highly idealized. For example the high forehead is likely representing intellect rather than baldness.

martin said...

Hi Candy. It was actually the Chandos portrait I said looked like some merchant. (I can't upload it, but if you type "chandos shakespeare" in google images you'll soon recognise the one I mean.) But with the sinister look and earring, perhaps he's an ex-pirate.

Your second painting looks more like a young aristocrat than either poet or merchant, but I must say when I saw it the first thing that struck me was how modern it seemed. I suppose it's the genuine article, but has anyone suggested it's a forgery I wonder?

Candy Minx said...

Thanks Martin!

I've been looking around for pics of the many suggested "authentic" portraits of WS. Much to think about and there should be more books on this subject.